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Exempt Staff Searches – Guidelines & Best Practices

Exempt Staff Search Summary Report

Exempt Search Procedures PDF

OED Guidelines & Best Practices for Exempt Staff Searches

  1. Draft position description, have position evaluated, create a position, and post on UT’s website
  2. Determine who will be on the search committee.  If you are the hiring manager decide who will serve as search chair, the hiring manager cannot be on the search committee
  3. Know who your HR Recruitment Business Partner (RBP) is and discuss whether HR will do initial screening, and for what basis
  4. The search chair should contact Nicole Cangey ( to schedule an exempt staff search orientation session.  Under very limited circumstances, this orientation can be waived, however, attendance is mandatory annually. Also, the search chair will be responsible to complete the Exempt Staff Search Summary Report; sections 1 and 2 before the start of the search, and the remainder of the report throughout the life of the search.
  5. Search Committee Instruction
    • Discuss an anticipated timeline with committee members
    • Discuss steps to be taken to promote position
    • Determine how committee will share information and access application materials
    • Create (if desired) a method of evaluating applicants
    • Form a subgroup to do initial screenings, if pool is large
    • Have a thorough conversation with the committee regarding the Required qualifications and the Preferred
    • Discuss any work experience requirements; related degree requirements
    • Agree to responsibilities for providing applicants information (Chair)
    • Have a discussion about social media searches (NOT recommended as an independent search committee member endeavor)
  1. Initial screening methods prior to on-campus interviews
    • Telephone interviews
    • Zoom interviews
    • Writing samples
    • Consider consistency of questions and information to be elicited
  1. Pool development
    • Primary pool candidates are invited for on-campus interviews
    • Primary pool must be greater than 1 (generally)
    • Secondary pool – beneficial if primary candidates not selected
    • Secondary pool candidates can be interviewed one by one
    • Not all secondary candidates have to be interviewed
    • It is not required to have a secondary pool
    • All primary and secondary candidates MUST meet required qualifications
    • The search chair, with input from committee, must complete the Exempt Staff Search Summary Report including strengths and weaknesses for candidates in the pools
    • Send the completed report to Nicole Cangey,
    • For IPS positions please only send the Strengths and Weaknesses to Angie McLemore,
  1. Diversity considerations
    • OED will review the full applicant list for demographics of applicants
    • OED will review list of Primary and Secondary candidates in comparison with full list
    • OED may require additional strengths and weaknesses for diverse candidates who appear to meet qualifications but are not under further consideration
    • Committee chair may contact Nicole Cangey, to review the diversity of pool prior to making primary and secondary pool decisions to determine whether additional recruiting should take place
  1. On-Campus interviews
    • Determine length and scope of interview process
    • Be consistent with itinerary – should contain same elements for each candidate
    • All primary candidates must be interviewed before offer can be extended
    • Be sure to include the hiring manager in the interview process, as a one on one meeting
    • Secondary candidates can be interviewed one at a time
    • Meals, “casual” times – are all part of the interview
      • Avoid problematic questions or discussions of personal issues
      • Answer candidate questions, but don’t probe areas that would not be appropriate for questioning (can provide list of “inappropriate questions” prior to interview)
      • If inappropriate questions are asked, address immediately and inform the candidate that the question will not be used to evaluate the candidacy. Document any issues that arise and discuss with OED, as soon as possible.
      • Be consistent with questions in an effort to elicit same type of information, but feel free to probe answers further
  1. Reference checks
    • Notify successful candidate that you will be contacting references
    • Ask to speak to direct supervisor if not provided as a reference
    • Be consistent with questions. Don’t probe inappropriate areas
  1. Internal Candidates
    • Treat the same way as external candidates
    • Avoid consideration of unsolicited information as a basis of rejection of candidate in initial evaluation
    • Personal knowledge of candidate may be appropriate later in process at time references are checked

*In the event you would like to perform an internal exempt staff search you must submit a Request for Exemption form, with a rationale memo statement to Katrice Morgan ( for consideration.